On April 7, the Armenian Church celebrates one of her greatest feasts – the Annunciation to St Mary. In the Gospel of Luke we learn that the Angel Gabriel brings the good news to the Virgin about the birth of the Saviour (Lk 1:26-38).
According to Holy Tradition and the Evangelist, the Angel Gabriel appears to St. Mary while reading a passage from the prophecy of Isaiah, in which it is written about the birth of the Emmanuel from a Virgin. The Angel greets Mary, telling her, “Fear not, Mary: for you have found favour with God. And behold, you shall conceive in your womb, and bring forth a son, and shall call His Name JESUS.”
The Angel Gabriel further explains to Mary, “The Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and the Power of the Highest shall overshadow you, therefore also that which is Holy which shall be born of you shall be called the Son of God.” St Mary could foresee the torments and sufferings that she would endure. However, by giving mankind an excellent example of obedience to the Divine Will, she said, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it happen to me as you have said.” Beginning from the moment when the Holy Virgin expressed these words, she was with child.
This Gospel story is one expression of why the Armenian Church accords high honour to motherhood, and appreciates the role of women in family life, and the lives of mankind.
Upon the Pontifical order of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, the Feast of the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary is proclaimed as a day of “Blessing of Motherhood and Beauty”. On that day, a special blessing service is conducted in the Armenian Churches.